Re: Black vote was up, but pattern held | letter, Nov. 26
Letter writer needs lesson on election
This letter by Richard Piper of Largo was baffling, to say the least. If, as the writer claims, the highest voter turnout came in precincts where John McCain won 2-1, how is it that Barack Obama won the county by 30,000-plus votes?
Piper's letter implies that "voters of high education levels and high socioeconomic status" voted for McCain. In fact, the most highly educated Americans, including Floridians, voted for Obama by a margin of better than 3:2, and they have voted Democrat on the presidential level since 1988.
The reasons for this growing tendency are not hard to find.
The GOP has become the victim of its own rigid ideology. On foreign policy, it has been hijacked by neo-cons and has devolved into an interventionist war party that tried to legitimize torture, secret prisons and renditions. On domestic policy, it has stuck its head in the sand on climate change and alternative energy, and has opposed regulation of markets that have now collapsed from the weight of their own greed.
The way it has conducted campaigns is also odious. It has practiced "the politics of personal destruction" in an unbroken line, from Richard Nixon's plumbers through Lee Atwater and the rabid Clinton impeachment to the recent attempts to portray Obama as a dangerous Marxist.
For these reasons and many others, intelligent, well-informed people reject the Republican Party. But now the focus is on the Democrats. They need to deliver on the promise of change and reform. If they don't, we may see serious new parties arise.
Bret Raushenbush, Tarpon Springs
Thanks to all for help with GED fees
On behalf of the board members of READ Pinellas Inc. and the students and teachers of the adult education department of Pinellas County Schools, I want to thank the Tampa Bay community for its generosity and support as a result of the St. Petersburg Times' Nov. 2 article about the increase in GED fees.
Our adult students face many difficulties on the road to achieving a high school diploma. They demonstrate commitment and perseverance daily in their pursuit of an education. The generous donations we have received to pay for GED testing fees will go a long way to eliminate another barrier to these students' success.
Thank you to all who have donated money and thank you to staff writer Donna Winchester and the editors of the Times for sharing our story with the community.
Laura Sargent, Largo